The RZR 170, ACE 150, And Other Youth UTVs
Jun 2nd 2019
Be it the RZR 170, the ACE 150, or the Ranger 150, getting your kids interested in UTVs at a young age will not only prepare them for larger machines in the future, but it will also teach them basic vehicular, operation, and mechanical maintenance skills. Whether your kids are looking to enter the racing circuit, or you simply want them to have something to put around it, youth UTVs are becoming an increasingly popular option in the power sports community. It's one thing to bring your kids along on rides, but a completely different thing to put them behind the wheel. So if you’re considering a UTV for your little one, keep reading, because we’re about to dig into the good, the bad, and the awesome vis-a-vis the Polaris RZR 170 youth side-by-side.
The RZR 170 VS. The ACE 150
When considering which youth UTV to buy, there are many factors to consider. Your child’s age, driving abilities, and where / how they will ride all play a major role in determining the right machine for them. When juxtaposing the ACE 150 with the RZR 170, it is clear that there are a bunch of aftermarket parts and products for the RZR 170, but not so much for the ACE 150. They both have about the same stock top speed, but the Polaris Ace 170s have upgrades available like exhausts and tuners to make them much faster. On top of that, it is also easier to find safety accessories and protective parts for the RZR 170 like roofs, skid plates, a-arm guards, etc.
The stock RZR 170 comes with 23" tires, vs the 21" tires that come stock on the ACE 150. And although many argue that the ACE 150 comes with better suspension, the taller tire size on the RZR 170 gives it about two to three inches more ground clearance. Both machines hold their value fairly well, and many parents like the fact that the 150 has real gauges and not just stickers. Also, the ACE 150 has a neat GeoFence feature that allows you to set boundary perimeters and adjust the max speed of the vehicle from your smart phone’s Ride Command App. If you want your children to only go 5mph around camp and then 15 to 20mph after they get away from camp, you can set the GeoFence settings on the app so it limits their speed to those specifications.
Benefits Of Buying A Race-Ready Rig
If your mini-me is interested in UTV racing, you might want to consider buying a race-ready RZR 170. Many riders are under the opinion that buying a race ready rig is cheaper in the long run — although a good one will still set you back anywhere from $8-$12k at the time of this writing -- but half the fun and much of the learning / bonding times comes when you build up and work on the buggy with your kid. Throw on a parker pumper, a 5 point harness, a quick change gear set, Cognitio long travel, and adjustable arms up front, and whatever else you can afford to make a truly speedy machine -- all the while spending quality time with your child. And there are countless other aftermarket modifications you can make to unleash the ponies and take the freak off the leash.
Aftermarket Polaris RZR 170 Mods
The sky is the limit when it comes to modifying and upgrading the Polaris RZR 170. With regards to the motor, you can get a big bore kit, a big valve head, and an aftermarket Hoca A10 cam upgrade. You can even drop in a yfz450 or a 232 stroker motor with a trench and epoxy case as well as a 4V head if you feel so inclined. These kinds of motors are perfect if your kid is used to riding machines like the KTM 50sx dirt-bike or a drr90 race quad — both of which are 2 stroke, so if they are accustomed to that 2 stroke power, these racing engines are the perfect fit to max out the HP while still being able to race in the < 250 class.
Even with a Polaris RZR 170 bore kit, to get the most power out of any 232cc motor, an Aracer standalone ECU is a must — especially when you combine it with an auto-tuner. Further additions like exhausts and clutch kits are also important. You'll need a quality RZR 170 exhaust to increase airflow, and the EFI tuner will allow the vehicle to consume more fuel -- and therefore create more forward movement. Before adding an EFI tuner to your kid's rig, you’ll likely find that it runs like crap because it is starving for fuel. Additionally, the Vent racing air box delete is also suggested for race RZR 170s, as well as an air cleaner to gain maximum horsepower and top speeds.
If you kid isn’t racing but has outgrown his lower-cc UTV, it might just be time to upgrade to an RZR 570. A bigger vehicle will provide more power, without breaking the bank. On the other end of the spectrum, if you child is a bit too small for his or her own RZR 170, you might want to consider a pedal extension like the one by Lonestar Racing. Even with the seat extended all the way forward, shorter children may not be able to fully press the pedal, which leaves a lot of power untapped. You can also take the slack out of the throttle cable, as there are several hundred RPMs hidden there. Just move the little rubber cover and put the slightest bit of pressure on the pedal, turning it till it starts to rev louder.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if your little hell raisers are cruising around in a Youth ACE, an RZR 170, or even (if it’s the absolute last option available) a Suzuki 50cc quad. As long as they are having fun and staying safe, that’s all that matters. If you’re wanting to introduce your kids to UTVs, there’s no better way to start than by putting them behind the wheel of a Polaris RZR 170!